Brooklyn-based theatre artist and producer Iyvon Edebiri has won the 2019 Mark O'Donnell Prize. Seeded through a gift from the estate of late Tony Award–winning book writer of Hairspray, the annual prize is presented to emerging theatre artists and entrepreneurs who show promise across a variety of mediums.
The Actors Fund and Playwrights Horizons co-administer the award, which comes with a cash prize of $15,000. Recipients also receive artistic support through the use of The Mark O’Donnell Theater at The Actors Fund Arts Center for one week to develop a reading of a new work, as well as counseling from The Actors Fund on how to apply for affordable housing and obtain health insurance.
Edebiri is a creative producer, company manager, and dramaturg, and serves as Artistic Director and host of The Parsnip Ship, a monthly new works series showcasing collaborations between under-produced playwrights, musicians, and composers. Inspired by the radio-play format, the works are recorded live at the Mark O’Donnell Theatre and available to stream online. She is a recipient of a Fulbright Research Fellowship and the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. She was recently an Americans for the Arts DIAL Fellow and a Fellow of The DO School Future of Audio Entertainment program in Berlin. She is a graduate of Brandeis University, and holds an M.A. in Arts Administration from Baruch College.